Informing Digital Futures: Strategies for Citizen Engagement

Thursday 9 October 2008

The University of the West of England, Frenchay (Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QY). Room: TBD. Directions from Security.

18:30 for 19:00 start.

Professor Leela Damodaran, Loughborough University.

Leela is part of the Research School of Informatics and is the Head of the Information, Technology and Society (I,T&S) Research Group at Loughborough University. The research group focuses on human and social aspects of informatics, and the impact of technology upon individuals, organisations and society.

Leela is a Chartered Psychologist with a wide-ranging portfolio of research and action-research activities. She has a long track record of successful applied research in participative design of information and communications technology (ICT) systems and services.

Free. Tea/Coffee/Biscuits available.

In the present digital revolution we often seem trapped in a Kafkaesque world of technological advances, some desired, some disliked or even feared, which we cannot influence but must accept. This talk discusses the urgent need to redress this situation.

It will argue that technologies succeed or fail according to their relevance and value to people, who need to be actively engaged in order to create shared visions, and influence their implementation.

All too often ICT advances are regarded purely as a technical challenge where the designers believe that systems analysis will of itself yield complete and comprehensive functional specifications. The talk will highlight the crucial benefits and added value to be gained from empowering citizens to shape ICT design decisions.

Finally, it will provide specific practical guidance, based on sound academic research, for policy makers, administrators and ICT professionals on the strategies, methodologies, tools and techniques needed to change design practice.

All welcome!

Registration required - please email Dave Martyn on - places limited.